50

For the Anglo-Saxons, the knowledge that it was the Romans whose city it was is less relevant than why those cities were there no more, or, well, why they were in such a poor state. However, for a direct answer, Gildas and Bede describe Britain as part of Rome (though possibly not with a specific statement that "The Romans built these") and this ...


24

There is a lot that we do not fully understand about the details of the succession in Anglo Saxon England. Indeed, it seems quite likely that the role of the council ('witena ġemōt', or 'Witan', if you prefer) changed over time. It seems certain that the council maintained some role in the succession process throughout the period. However, in general, the ...


19

Usually "Danes", or the "pagans"[note], or possibly the "Northmen" - though the last was more of a Continental usage. In Francia these Scandinavians were called 'Northmen' or 'Danes' (in translation), and in England they were called 'Danes' or 'pagans' in contemporary chronicles. Brink, Stefan. "Who were the Vikings?" Brink, Stefan, and Neil Price, ...


16

With all due respect to Dr McAdam, I don't think that is correct. To give just one example, we have depictions of Anglo Saxon cavalry wearing helmets on Pictish stones like the one in the churchyard at Aberlemno Parish Church: Image source Wikimedia This particular stone is often referred to as Aberlemno II, and the battle scene depicted is generally ...


15

Technically, at that time kings were decided upon by the Witenagemot (assembly). We're not sure how pro-forma that typically was, but this was the accepted way a new King gained their legitimacy as ruler. No man can make himself king, but the people has the choice to choose as king whom they please; but after he is consecrated as king, he then has ...


13

The spacing divides the 'half-lines' of the poem. This is fundamental to Old English metre, where each line of the poem consists of two half-lines, connected by alliteration. If you are interested, the Electronic Beowulf edition, that you have linked in the question, has a section describing the meter of the poem. By clicking the Meter option, the ...


13

There are several cases of Roman era ruins being repurposed by Anglo-Saxons, though I'm not certain if you'll call them "large scale". As the other answers noted, the Anglo-Saxons generally stayed away from Roman ruins and perhaps the most common way they reused these old structures was to use them for construction materials. Nonetheless, many ...


13

The short answer is we're not sure. When the Roman State was in decline and had to withdraw from England, (coincidentally?) Germanic tribal power was on the increase. That left a power vacuum in England at the same latitudes that coastal Germanic tribes were already living on the opposite shore of the North Sea. Unfortunately, it also left a literacy vacuum,...


13

The issue with finding other similar works is that barely any of it survived to this day except as references in documents: Little physical evidence survives to reconstruct the early development of English embroidery before the Norman Conquest of 1066. Stitches reinforcing the seams of a garment in the Sutton Hoo ship burial may have been intended as ...


12

The authors of historical texts which reached us knew that Britain was ruled by the Roman empire some time ago. Educated people who wrote historical texts read Latin books, knew some history and knew about Roman empire. But this was a very tiny minority. Most of people were illiterate, and even those who could read have not seen many books, they saw Roman ...


11

There were certainly words that were borrowed from Latin when the Angles and Saxons were living in continental Europe; a handful of them survive into modern English. We know this because the words also appear in other Germanic languages. Examples of such words are wine, pound and chest. Wikipedia has a list of Britannic loans into English. A few of them are ...


10

Yes. Or at least, as far as we can know based on available sources. Of course, if one chooses to disregard extant historical records, then all kinds of speculations are possible. Hence, the general consensus of historians is that Edward designated Harold his successor. Moreover there is no doubt that on his deathbed Edward the Confessor did name Harold ...


9

Who are they going to ask for help? How? What's in it for the possible helpers? The Vikings raided everywhere possible. From Iceland (which they colonized) to the Black Sea. The holy Roman empire didn't exist as yet. France didn't exist as yet. The German emperor did exist, but he was not very strong and had plenty of problems to solve already. Besides, he ...


9

This is not true, certainly for the later period and probably for the earlier period too. Covering the early period (and bearing in mind that it is heroic fiction), we have references in Beowulf to the 'grimhelmas' worn by the warriors of Beowulf's company on arrival at Heorot (line 334) and before the fight with Grendel (line 1245); none of whom were kings. ...


8

These "North Saxons" were exactly there where you would expect them, in the North of England — or were they? In any case, naming a region with a string of letters that somehow stuck was anything between 'just not important' to 'not really fitting anyways'. For some breadcrumbs: Annals of Ulster (Vol. I, ed. W. M. Hennessy, 1887), sub anno 912 alias 913: ...


8

Do you know what the difference is between an endonym and an exonym? An exonym or xenonym is an external name for a geographical place, a group of people, an individual person, or a language or dialect1. It is a common name used only outside the place, group, or linguistic community in question. An endonym or autonym is an internal name for a geographical ...


6

What about "heathens"? It comes from Old English hæþen, and basically means pagan, which was also mentioned in other answers. Notice this word comes most probably from a Saxon origin, "hedhin", compared with pagan, which comes from Latin paganus (i.e. referring to the rural, country-side).


5

Yes, that's roughly what he's saying. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to run a unified country, or even a unified armed resistance, between two entities separated by hostile territory. Here's a map from the beginning of the 7th Century that is politically coded, that might make this easier to see. The land in the hands of Celtic kings is shown in ...


5

An Ancestry study has this to say (slightly reformatted for readability): This is according to new analysis of the genetic history of two million people worldwide by Ancestry, the leader in family history and consumer genomics, based on data collated from the AncestryDNA home DNA test that examines a person’s entire genome at over 700,000 ...


5

Here is a list of the various successions of the monarchs of the house of Wessex beginning with the death of King Ecgberht who founded a new branch of the royal dynasty. The statistics of the different types of successions could be the basis of a theory about the succession in in later Anglo-Saxon England. Aethelwulf (795/810-858), son of Ecberht, ...


3

A couple of points can be made concerning Anglo-Saxon 'use' of Roman ruins. If you look at the wiki article on Anglo-Saxon architecture, the general occupation of these areas is mentioned(emphasis mine): Early Anglo-Saxon buildings in Britain were generally simple, constructed mainly using timber with thatch for roofing. Generally preferring not to ...


3

The Anglo-Saxon kingdoms form in Britain in the early 6th century, which is 150 years after the fall of the Roman Empire. During this period: Anglo-Saxon law was written in the vernacular and was relatively free of the Roman influence found in continental laws that were written in Latin. Roman influence on Anglo-Saxon law was indirect and exerted ...


1

In addition to the existing answers, and building on SJuan76's comment, asking for military aid during the early middle ages was a very risky business. Apropos case in point: the Anglo-Saxons themselves. Gildas the Wise wrote during the 6th century that the Angles and Saxons first entered Britain by invitation. They were provided with food supplies in ...


1

Even if the organization existed to attempt a joint mutual response, where would you go to do it? The Vikings didn't announce their targets in advance. Even just considering the Atlantic Vikings from Norway, targets ranged from Ireland to Italy. On only one notable occasion that I know of, local authorities did know where and when a Viking fleet was passing;...


1

As used in The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth or in Beowulf, your Englishman might use "ingenga" to mean invader or visitor.


1

Edgar the Peaceful (c. 943—8 July 975) chose to have his coronation at Bath. He was the first king to be crowned King of all the English and wanted the ceremony to be as impressive as possible (Elements of the coronation ceremony that Dunstan devised for him are still in use today). The draw to Bath was naturally the well preserved Roman ruins, including ...


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